Exercise: Building Skin Not Just Muscles!
By now, we all know that exercise is necessary for good physical health. Exercise is essential for a fit and toned body, a healthy heart, and so much more. But, what many people don’t know is that regular exercise can build healthy skin, too! Regular exercise can help with acne, make your skin glow, and even reduce the signs of aging. Here’s how it works!
Sweating and Detoxification
There’s no doubt that you’re going to sweat during a good workout! Sweating is great for the skin because it carries toxins, dirt, and oil out of your pores. Just be sure to shower right after your workout to wash away all that pore-clogging gunk!
Endorphins and Skin Health
You may have heard that exercise produces feel-good hormones called endorphins. The lift in your mood that you get after a good workout comes from endorphins. You will also notice a reduction in your stress level, brought on by those endorphins. Decreased stress levels lead to a decrease in cortisol, the stress hormone. High levels of cortisol can accelerate the breakdown of collagen (the protein that keeps your skin elastic, supple, and firm), and it’s also one of the leading hormones to cause acne.
Get Your Glow on By Oxygenating Your Blood
Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to all of the cells in your body, and there’s nothing like aerobic exercise to get your blood pumping! When you breathe deeply during a workout, your blood becomes more oxygenated. Since the surface of your skin is full of blood vessels, all of that oxygenated blood gives your skin a vibrant, healthy glow, and who doesn’t want that?
Boost Your Collagen Levels with Exercise
Sadly, collagen starts to degrade when you’re in your 20s, and the loss of collagen is what leads to fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. To stimulate the natural collagen cycle in your body, you need to encourage the breakdown of old collagen so that new collagen can be formed. Exercise stimulates the production of new collagen while helping to break down old collagen at the same time.
But, certain types of exercise are more beneficial for collagen production than others. Weight training that focuses on the large muscle groups stimulates collagen formation. Bench presses, squats, and deadlifts are the most effective. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is the best type of cardio to do for anti-aging.
Control Your Weight
Exercise helps you control your weight, which is good for all but even more important to people with psoriasis. Studies show that psoriasis patients weigh more than those without the condition. Obesity often leads to chronic inflammation, which worsens psoriasis. Also, the body tends to make more fat cells in response to increased inflammation, making it harder to control weight. Therefore, exercise can be helpful for managing psoriasis.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
It’s true that your body heals while you sleep, and the skin is no exception. Studies show that people who exercise regularly fall asleep easier and sleep more soundly. Getting quality sleep gives your skin a chance to regenerate and repair itself.
Things to Consider Before You Start
- If you suffer from rosacea or atopic dermatitis, the increased body temperature that inevitably comes with exercise could lead to a flare-up. Try exercising in a cool environment. Swimming is a great option or try brisk walks in the crisp evening air.
- If you’re going to be exercising outdoors in the sun, be sure to wear sunscreen. Sun damage is one of the leading causes of premature aging. You’ll undo all the good you’ve done by exercising if you skip the sunscreen!
Exercise can do so much more for the body than just building muscle. Any regular exercise will benefit all the systems of your body, that means more radiant, glowing skin for you!
About the Author
Olivia Hsu Friedman is the owner of Amethyst Holistic Skin Solutions and sees patients all over the nation in person and via video conferencing. She holds a TCM Dermatology Diploma and a position on the internationally recognized Register of Chinese Medicine Dermatology (RCMDerm). Additionally, she received a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine (Dipl.OM) from the National Certification Commission of Oriental Medicine and is a licensed Illinois acupuncturist (LAc). Olivia earned a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) from National University of Health Sciences, graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded the Joseph Janse Outstanding Graduate Award.
Outside of the office, Olivia serves as the Vice President of the Illinois Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is also one of two Illinois delegates to the American Society of Acupuncturists.